'''Mary Roberts Rinehart''' (August 12, 1876September 22, 1958) was an American writer, often called the American Agatha Christie
[Keating, H.R.F., ''The Bedside Companion to Crime''. New York: Mysterious Press, 1989, p. 170. ISBN 0-89296-416-2]
although her first mystery novel was published 14 years before Christie's first novel in 1922.
[The Mysterious Affair at Styles]
Rinehart is considered the source of the phrase "The butler
did it" from her novel ''The Door'' (1930), although the novel does not use the exact phrase. Rinehart is also considered to have invented the "Had I but known|Had-I-But-Known
" school of mystery writing, with the publication of ''The Circular Staircase
She also created a costumed super-criminal called "the The Bat (1926 film)|Bat
", cited by Bob Kane
as one of the inspirations for his...